Public education programs touting the benefits of fluoridated water are seeing success across the country thanks to efforts by the American Dental Association (ADA).
In Machias, Maine -- population 2,000 -- whether to keep the town’s water supply fluoridated was decided in June at this year’s annual town meeting.
Twenty-five citizens attended the session, where Dr. Mary MacKay of nearby Lubec spoke on fluoride's benefits and safety.
“Don’t deny the next generation the opportunity of water fluoridation,” she said to the small crowd.
Apparently, the attendees listened. The measure to retain the additive, linked to lower rates of tooth decay, passed by a 23-2 margin.
"Dr. MacKay's influence was clear and shows how important it is for dentists to take the lead in supporting fluoridation," John Bastey, director of governmental relations for the Maine Dental Association, said.
Supported by the ADA, fluoridation is the subject of a three-minute video the ADA has produced to sway local communities. The video can be downloaded from the association’s website.
"I always try to find the best science and evidence when I'm trying to make decisions about my children,” Dr. Julie Frantsve-Hawley, an expert featured in the video, said. “Fluoride, especially for community water fluoridation, is one of those no-brainers."
In addition to the video, the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations lobbies to keep local communities aware of fluoride’s benefits. To have a letter advocating fluoride sent to your town, call Jane McGinley, the ADA’s manager of fluoridation and prevention health activities, at 312-440-2500.